A Hard Day’s Night

Well, I haven’t written in FOREVER. Goodness, I have no idea what to catch up on. I guess I can say that I worked on a new pilot that David Schwimmer is working on- that was awesome. Also worked on “Blue Bloods” with Donnie Wahlberg- he also bought everyone tacos. Coolest moment EVER. It was also the best set that I’ve worked on yet. The PAs were amazing and Joe the director was incredibly nice. Everyone that I’ve met working on set have been amazing. 2014 literally has started off with a bang. Tomorrow I start back up at UCB (Upright Citizens Brigade), which I’m really excited about. I love improv a whole lot, even though it’s one of the hardest things I think I’ve ever done. A few Sundays ago when I went to see ASSSSCAT at UCB, Mara Wilson aka Matilda was the monologist!! We learned that she dated the brother in “Halloween Town” and everyone (well my age) was all “AHHHHH” because we grew up to those movies. It was kinda weird to see “Matilda” in person. Then last week was my birthday- I can’t believe I’m 25. That’s really weird to say. My friends were so incredibly nice and bought my dinner at a cute little French restaurant. Afterwards we went to a cool speakeasy called Employees Only. In May I get to go to Florida with my gal pals- it was a spur of the moment idea and we got our tickets! Disclaimer: we are NOT going to Disney World. We are headed to a lovely town called Bonita Springs.

Okay, so I think that’s my life in a nut shell from the past few weeks. This year is flying by and tonight my cousin arrives from LA to visit me here in the lovely Big Apple! Hopefully more incredible things are to come.

-R

3 Lines And The Truth

The last post that I wrote was about the first two days that I started at UCB, and today, it came to a close. It was a very quick 2 weeks to put together a show. The people in my class were really amazing. Our teachers were very impressive too. I never thought I’d move to NYC and start to do improv. This is something new that has really fulfilled me. I know some people may think, “Oh well, who cares, it’s just comedy.” I wouldn’t say “just comedy”. UCB has put out some really well known performers and the thing I have in common with them is that we all started at the same place. Everyone starts with a 101 and then moves on. You either enjoy it or you don’t. I love it. I know I will continue with this and hopefully end up on a house team and maybe even one day doing ASSSSCAT (just google it). So many thanks to my friends who came to see me. It means so much to me and I swear next time will be even funnier.

-R

Yes, And…

Just yesterday I started improv classes at UCB- also known as Upright Citizens Brigade. Notable alumni includes Amy Poehler, Bobby Moynihan, Horatio Sanz, Kate McKinnon, etc. (True story, I had to look up how to spell most of these last names.) The only time before that I’ve done improv was at OCU. I really enjoyed it there and I thought maybe I should try my hand at it again. I’m only two days in and I love it. We have a great teacher, and I’ll be honest, quite a talented class. A lot of the students have done standup before, so maybe that has something to do with it. When this course ends I think I want to continue doing this. This is something that makes me happy and I love to make people laugh.

Also, today is MARDI GRAS!!! Unfortunately I am not in NOLA. I know I said I would only go once, but if I were with some good friends I would go again. Luckily tonight I get to celebrate in NYC with some jambalaya, crawfish, red beans and rice, and other food that I’ve forgotten. Oh, and a free hurricane.

I’m not sure how I’m still functioning because waking up at 7:00 AM is a killer.

Well, y’all- LAISSEZ LES BON TEMPS ROULER!!

-R

P.S. I forgot about writing about the Oscars. In a few sentences, my favorite dressed was Jennifer Lawrence (LOVE HER DRESS!!!) and of course, Leonardo DiCaprio. Also, my favorite speech was Matthew McConaughey’s.

She’s Like Texas

Texas“She’s as bright as the Dallas sky, she always holds her head up high”

A HUGE thank you to Terminal 5 for hosting their 6th annual salute to Texas Independence Day!! I am so proud to be a Texan and I had such an amazing time last night. I met up with a friend that I worked on “The Blacklist” with since she was a fellow Dallasite like myself. Now let me tell y’all that I have never seen so much plaid, cowboy hats, cowboy boots, and Texas paraphernalia in one room. Or really in NYC. Of course not everyone was from Texas. I met a girl from Georgia that went to Auburn (gag), but she was very nice. I even got one of my yankee friends to come along. There were 4 bands that played: Stoney LaRue, Wade Bowen, The Josh Abbottt Band, and The Randy Rogers Band. These bands put on a fantastic show. Everyone was smiling from ear to ear- you could tell we all missed Texas. The venue was also smart enough to get a ton of Lonestar beer and Shiner. The concert ended with all of the bands out on stage playing “Gimme All Your Lovin’”. You could tell they were having a great time, as well as the audience. I think they were kinda shocked that they could get this many people out to see their show- especially in NYC.

Last night felt like home. My friend said for the next month she would only be listening to country music and going back and watching “Friday Night Lights”. I’ll be 100% honest and say that I’ve never watched the show. I know, it’s blasphemy! I’ll get around to it at some point. Expect my next post to be about the Oscars and the red carpet looks.

Love y’all and love TEXAS!

-R

Katie, Blacklist, Following

Well y’all, it’s been quite some time since I last posted. I’m not sure how I’m even awake right now because it has been a lonnngggg day (writing this post on 2/27 but posting on 2/28). But let me reverse to last week:

Last Thursday I spent many, many hours sitting in the audience of the Katie Couric show. Now I’ve been learning a lot of things by doing all of this television work. Apparently (but I think I knew this before and maybe forgot about it?) when you’re in the audience of a talk show, they’ll be filming for later episodes down the line. The morning filming that I went to was stuff for the next day and then the afternoon portion (well half) was actually all live. After the live bit there was one other segment that was being filmed for March 6th. It was a cool experience because I did walk away with two books! You know how they say the audience will be going home with xyz at the end of the show? It’s for real. Needless to say the books were hardbacks and it took some strength (I’m weak and y’all know it!) to get those back home.

So, this week, starting with Tuesday, I worked on the tv show “The Blacklist”. I’ve heard of the show but I had no idea what it was about. I attempted to watch the show the night before shooting but I was lost. Anyway, something I’ve learned about working on shows is that when you bring your “wardrobe” you have to bring other options. Or you need a backpack, and I don’t have one here in NYC. For “The Blacklist” I was a portraying a high school student, and of course we needed a backpack. Luckily my lovely Phi friend let me borrow her’s for the day. You also find out literally the night before shooting what you have to wear/have. All I know is that I now need to go to buffalo exchange or something and get some random clothes for shows. To continue: it was a very, very long day. We started at 9:00 AM and didn’t get done until around 10:30 PM. The crew on this show was amazing. I would go back and work on this show in a heartbeat. While in holding they kept us entertained by telling us stories- one which was really sad, about a girl named Sarah Jones who recently passed away while working on a new film called Midnight Rider. It’s a long story, and it’s very sad- so click on her name to read about her. On the slate they put her name on it in memory of her.  Anyway, on a brighter note, the principal actors on the show were incredibly nice too. Diego Klattenhoff (known as Donald on the show and also as Mike on HOMELAND!!!!!!) was always very kind and would hold open doors for people. I mean, he really didn’t have to. You only expect stars to do their own thing and ignore everyone else but they even treated us silly background actors really nice. I think this episode is going to be really awesome and I’ll figure out when it airs and possibly post it on my blog. You won’t be able to miss me because of my insane 80′s hair do. Also, I had another run in with an OCUer! Small world y’all. Then on Thursday……

I worked on “The Following”. I should note that the night before I did a body pump class and it left me in so much pain the next day. But that pain was forgotten quite quickly as we spent the day outside shooting exteriors (it was absolutely freezing). I’ll say that I had no idea what “The Following” was about and who was even on the show. After shooting a few scenes one of the other extras on set said, “Oh there’s Kevin Bacon!”, and my thought was, “Why is Kevin Bacon here?” Turns out that he’s a character on the show haha. The one unfortunate thing about shooting exteriors with a famous person on set is people stopping and staring while shooting. And we were in Midtown. And then some paparazzi showed up. But it wasn’t too long of a shoot and we got to go inside for a bit at one point so we could warm up just a little. Also it snowed a bit a few times and everyone just got so confused because it came out of nowhere. It was a good day though. I ran into a girl that I worked on “The Blacklist” with on Tuesday and decided to exchange numbers because there’s always a chance we would work together again.

February has been one eventful month and I get to kick  off the first week of March with a salute to Texas Independence Day at this place called Terminal 5; The Randy Rogers Band and The Josh Abbott band will be playing. YEHAW! Then there’s the Oscars, Mardi Gras, and a week long class at UCB. I’m thinking 2014 is starting out quite well.

Have a good weekend, y’all!

-R

P.S. Notice the new look? I needed something refreshing for 2014!

Dixieland Deeeeeelight!

ARGHHHH!!!!!!!  I wrote this whole post and it wasn’t saved. It was published with an empty post. I almost thought of copying it for good measure, but nooooo it will do it by itself. Let me try and re-write what I originally wrote. Essentially, as far as tv work has gone, I almost had a role in “The Good Wife”. I was up against a friend (YIKES!) but neither of us got it. Oh well. At least they thought we were good for the role.

This Sunday was a Southern type of day. It started out with a brunch at this place called The Delta Grill in Hell’s Kitchen. It’s a self proclaimed Southern/Louisiana/Cajun/Creole restaurant. I figured, hey, if it’s owned by a guy from Louisiana it can’t be that bad. Turns out, it was just meh. I grew up exposed to food from Louisiana. For a long time my aunt lived in New Orleans. Once I was born she moved to Dallas and brought all of things that she learned with her. Every year since I can remember, she has had a Mardi Gras party. My favorite foods that she made every year were grits and grillades, jambalaya, gumbo, and muffalettas. Little did I know she was fixing it Cajun style. A few years ago I had what was considered Creole jambalaya, which has a base of tomato. Y’all, I was so confused. Essentially, that’s the difference from Creole and Cajun. Creole= tomato base and “city” style, Cajun= no tomato and “country” style. Call me ignorant, but when you’ve grown up to what is considered Cajun you get a little confused when someone throws in some tomato and you claim it as not being real jambalaya (but it was really good anyway). So, for brunch I had Louisiana breakfast tacos, which sounds harmless: corn tortillas, eggs, scallions, cheese and andouille. Then on the “side” was Creole sauce, cheese grits, and red beans. Y’all, I was disappointed. I may be totally new to this whole Creole thing, but it just tasted like plain ole salsa from a jar. It also came at room temperature. Who does that?!? Also, I was disappointed in my beer. I got an Abita Purple Haze, but it tasted like some sort of bitter beer with some fresh squeezed lemon. It was nothing like any Purple Haze I’ve had before. I should have gone with Andygator. But, I will say that my fried okra that I got was good and my friends’ fried chicken and waffles was tasty. To continue my Southern Sunday….

I have a close friend that messaged me on Facebook letting my know that one of his friends’ was playing at this place called Hill Country BBQ. I’ve been there before and I was really impressed. Any place that can pull off some real good brisket wins in my book. I had two friends come along and we enjoyed some good music, Shiner on tap, and frito pie. Y’all, they’ve never heard of frito pie before. I swear I thought that was something everyone has heard of and has eaten before. They have never had it and enjoyed every bite. I’ll be honest and say it really was one of the best frito pies that I’ve ever had. Ever. It was a great ending to a Sunday.

Also another funny Southern note, yesterday my friends and I were talking about Lent. I said I was going to give up cokes for Lent. Lemme just say, in the South and Texas, we call all sodas, pop, soft, drinks, or whatever variation of that, COKE. Just coke. They’re alllll cokes. “I think I’m going to give up cokes for Lent.” *silence* “Okay, I’m giving up sodas for Lent.” Then it was all, “ohhhhhhh.” Yeah. That happened.

It was a great weekend and I’m looking forward to more that are just as great. Roll Tide, y’all!

-R

P.S. If you get confused with all of this mumbo jumbo, just google it, okay?

Elementary, My Dear Watson

Well, this week turned out to be quite interesting! Or really, my Friday did. I spent a chunk of this past week not feeling too hot (still sick with a cold and a stomach bug) but on Friday I got to work on the set of “Elementary”. I got a call around 8:00 Thursday night asking if I was available on Friday to work on “Elementary” and also if I didn’t mind that it was all exterior shots. My first question was, “Wait, can I wear a coat??”, and luckily I got to wear one. I was told to dress upscale UES, so I threw on my nice coat, nice boots, and one of my favorite purses. The next day at holding (where you hang out before filming) I happened to run into a girl that I went to OCU with! Small world y’all. It was nice to know someone on set. The thing about filming outside on the streets of NYC is that everyone asks what’s going on and then proceeds to take pictures. After a while crew just had to tell everyone passing by that they just needed to hold back just a second so they could film. At one point an older lady got realllly mad at a guy on crew and said, “I DON’T HAVE TIME FOR THIS!!! LET ME PASS!!!” Umm…. okay. Finally that bit was shot and when I returned the lady was still going on and on about how it was so inconsiderate for us to be filming there. I mean…. WOW. People are crazy. OH- holy cow was it freezing. By the end of shooting I couldn’t feel my toes. At all. At one point there was hot chocolate being passed around but I really just used it to warm up my hands.

Anyway, it was a fun day and I’ll try and post when the episode is going to air. Also, I’ve decided to start going to the gym. WOOOO! I was talked into it by one of my friends. That’s all for today…

-R

Industry of Cool

The past few days I was trying to come up with what I wanted to post about. At first, it was going to be a list of places I wanted to travel to- whether it were places that I want to return to, or new places. (Thanks to no internet for a few days, I went and watched all of the episodes of No Reservations on my iTunes.) Then I thought about writing a post on Philip Seymour Hoffman. I really can’t get over his death. It’s like James Gandolfini- you didn’t see it coming and they were too young to die. As I’ve posted in the past, y’all know that Almost Famous is my all time favorite film; Philip Seymour Hoffman plays a phenomenal Lester Bangs, even though the role is somewhat small. It’s a really underrated film for him. Heck, even Pirate Radio is underrated. Anyway, this scene that I’m posting below has always stuck with me. It’s short, but PSH nails it.

“The only true currency in this bankrupt world is what you share with someone else when you’re uncool.”

“… if you want to be a true friend to them, be honest and unmerciful .”

-R

A Moveable Feast

Two years ago today I left Dallas to spend four incredible months in France. It wasn’t Paris, it was Cannes. Unfortunately, I don’t know of any film that serves my nostalgia for Cannes, but I do enjoy very much Woody Allen’s Midnight in Paris. The first few times that I went to Paris, I hated it. I saw a touristy, dirty city with horrible food. (I was with tour groups so we never got any “real” French food.) When study abroad rolled around, we already had a planned trip with our group, AIFS. To be honest, I was dreading the trip. And then a second time I’d make a trip to visit my mom there! But that first time back, I finally got to see Paris through my eyes- not through some tourist guide. Granted, the minute we got there we had a “city tour” but that was all of the touring we did. Oh, by the way, the French actually do say, “Oh la la!” As soon as it ended, my dear friend Maxzene, Hayden, and I went to the very famous Ladureé macaron shop. This soon would become one of my favorite places for sweets, and luckily for me, there’s one here in NYC.

I instantly fell in love with the city. We were on our own to see the city and that evening we had a slightly touristy night by having dinner on a boat on the Seine. I didn’t mind it that much because we got to see the La Tour Eiffel light up and sparkle. The next day was a day for wandering around the city to do whatever we wanted to do. That evening my friend Jean-Philippe and I went to the acclaimed French restaurant, Les Cocottes. Chef, writer, and television personality Anthony Bourdain sang the praises of this restaurant. Both J.P. and I are foodies and figured that this probably would be an expensive meal, but it would be worth it- and it was. To top the night off, we walked over to the grassy area by the Eiffel Tower and saw it sparkle once again. This comes off as pretty cliché, but it was just perfect. The next day we would be headed back to Cannes. I won’t rehash the time spent with my mother there (which was great because we got to eat REALLY good food), parce-que c’etait parfait.

Paul (the pedantic character) says in the film Midnight in Paris that, “nostalgia is denial- denial of the painful present. The name for this denial is golden age thinking- the erroneous notion that a different time period is better than the one one’s living in. It’s a flaw in the romantic imagination of those people who find it difficult to cope with the present.” I can’t say that the present that I live in is painful, but one could always imagine themselves sitting outside a café with un café au lait staring at the Seine and people watching. Watching Midnight in Paris fulfills that nostalgia for me. Of course, I’d love to have lived there in the 1920s- some days rainy. You don’t have to be in love with someone there- you just love the city. Ernest Hemingway once said, “If you are lucky enough to have lived in Paris as a young man, then wherever you go for the rest of your life it stays with you, for Paris is a moveable feast.” Okay, I’m not a man, but Paris has stayed with me; France has stayed with me. France, je t’aime.

-R

Just A Spoon Full Of Sugar

DOES NOT HELP THE MEDICINE GO DOWN!! Such lies, Mary Poppins!

I’m sick. I woke up this morning hoping it was just my allergies acting up. False. The worst part about getting sick is that I’m limited to OTC meds. Thanks epilepsy! So most of the meds I take are all “natural” or “home made remedies”. I feel like such a phony because I’m not one of those health nuts who do this because they don’t want to take these “evil and unhealthy” OTC meds. Anyway, I do have a list of meds/remedies that I do like and can use. In case you are sick and in need of homeopathic type meds, I’ll give you the small list of what I use/take/eat/drink. Also, let me point out that antibiotics will not treat colds. Colds are viruses, not bacterias. So if you take a little trip to the doc in a box and they hand that Z- Pack over to you, tell them to go back to med school. To be honest, I’d stay home unless you have a really high fever. [Note: I am not a doctor. Obvs. You can take these with a grain of salt. Also check to see if any of these things react with meds you already take. I have to do that for herbal meds, too.] Alrighty folks, here’s the list:

  • UmckaOkay so this sounds like the weirdest type of meds ever. It is. In a nutshell, it’s some sort of South African plant that helps shorten the duration of the cold and severity. It comes in chewables and liquids. I’ve used both and they work just the same. I’ve probably been taking this medicine since sometime in college and since I’ve started taking it, I’ve seen such a difference. You can find this at your local vitamin store or whole foods. Also, it’s best to start taking this at the first sign of a cold. For me, that’s a horrible sore throat. Ugh.
  • Vitamin C- I know you’re going to say “DUH!”, but some people don’t take it. I suggest taking it in pill form. Most of them are 500 mg each and I take two a day.
  • Emergen-C- Speaking of vitamin C, here’s another option! It’s this powder stuff that you toss in water and usually makes you feel better. It’s 1,000 mg of vitamin C in one of those packages, so try not to throw back the emergen-c packets every hour.
  • Echinacea- So I’ve read some places that this does work and some other places that it does. This derives from some sort of flower plant thing and helps with the immune system. I haven’t seen a huge difference in my colds but I still take it at any rate.
  • Green Tea- This is probably my favorite tea. Ever. Even when I’m not sick I love it. It’s good for you in general but it just soothes my throat.
  • Throat Coat- Another tea that seems to help soothe a sore throat or cough. I absolutely hated the taste at first but got over it because it helps. It has this thing in it called slippery elm- which is what makes the throat feel better. Also, I suggest adding a ton of honey. Honey is also very good as well for colds.
  • Soup- Obvious one. Most people like chicken noodle, but I’m not a huge fan. Campbell’s soup is just so salty! The past two days I’ve ordered Tom Kah Gai soup from the same Thai restaurant… maybe I should order from another one tomorrow. Oh, and that soup is so delicious because it has coconut milk in it. YUM.
  • Coconut Water- Word is that this is better than your good ole gatorade. Being sick you can easily get dehydrated and lose some electrolytes, and coconut water is something that can help replenish that. Also plain water is good for you as well. Stay hydrated!!
  • Hot Toddy- Okay so this could be under the title of an old wives tale. Some say yea, some say nay, but I say bring on the whiskey! Umm… I mean, actually, when you make this you don’t need a whole lot of whiskey. I warm  up some water in a cup, add a bit of crown royal, a squeeze of lemon, and a good amount of honey. This helps soothe the throat and sometimes at night it helps you pass out a little bit sooner.
  • Humidifiers- These things are amazing. A lot are made by using warm mist or cool mist, but I prefer the cool. This just helps you breathe better at night and also helps your skin from getting too dry.

There’s the list! I know there’s a plethora of more meds to take but those are my go to. The Super Bowl is on Sunday and I’ve got to get better by then. I probably won’t be well, but I don’t want to feel totally under the weather.  Stay well, everyone. Be sure to wash your hands to prevent getting a cold, or even worse, THE FLU. Also, get a flu shot if you haven’t already.

-R